8 Tips To Help You Set Up An Awesome Email Drip Campaign

Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your customers as well as prospects. It’s not only cost effective – it’s fast and reliable if done right. If you know anything about internet marketing, you’ve probably heard the famous “the money is in the list” motto. But there is a specific way to reach your audience through email without getting canned into the spam (haha – reference from the featured image, woot!)

A couple of years back this seemed to be the national anthem in the internet marketing game. Of course, things have changed a bit – ok maybe a lot – but email still remains a very good marketing strategy that your business can’t overlook.

There are a lot of different types of drip campaigns that you can use. First of all, I think it’s important for you to know the facts. I don’t want to beat around the bush, building a list is hard work especially if you are a limited budget. That’s the reality. However, the good news is that the biggest challenges in life also offer the greatest rewards – which is why so few reap the rewards.

So just how do you set up an effective email drip campaign?

One of the major objectives (Notice how I mentioned one) with email marketing is to turn ice cold leads into hot prospects. There are others but this is a common objective for most people. That said, in order to have an effective drip campaign you should:

1 – Identify your goals

It’s important to remember that email, just like any other marketing strategy, should be used to improve your BUSINESS objectives. These objectives could be:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Sales
  • Customer retention

It’s important for you as a marketer to decide what your goals are. Having a goal for your email campaign is like having a recipe. It’s so much easier to make chocolate chip cookies with a recipe than without one – likewise it’s so much easier to achieve success with your email drip campaigns when you have a specific goal than when you don’t have any.

I was going to come up with a different analogy but someone had to turn on the Food Network while I was writing this post. But back to the topic at hand…

2 – Frequency

Now that you have a goal, how frequently should you mail your list? It’s important to remember that no one ever buys from anyone on the first go unless you have some hypnotic selling powers.

I bet you have probably found this out the hard way. People buy from those they know, like and trust, so your main objective with frequency is to establish a relationship with your prospects first before you try to sell them anything.

Ideally, you should set your drip campaigns to leave enough breathing space for your list to digest your content. Sending messages hours apart is sure to hurt your retention rate, so set up your campaign such that the first 7 emails of your campaign are sent out on daily basis i.e. one per day.

Note: Daily emails are super effective for membership site drip campaigns. If your goal is to convert your opted in user then daily emails with specific CTAs will convert the best.

3 – Get your sequence right!

There is nothing worse than sending tomorrow’s email, today. This not only confuses your list, but speaks a lot about your professionalism. Of course, nobody is perfect and mistakes do happen, however, let your errors be minor.

Having a mixed up sequence not only destroys your image, it also has the potential to portray you as a scammer. This is the last thing you want -especially on the internet. Take that extra 2 hours to make sure everything is ok before creating your broadcast. It could be the difference between success or failure. Check out Neil Patel’s post on Quicksprout on ways to increase email deliverability for more information.

Here is a campaign that I helped a client set up. This SaaS client has people opt into a 14 day free trial with this drip campaign guiding them into a conversion (or signing up for your service/product after the 14 day trial completes). Remember, you want to guide the user through the sales funnel and make the conversion decision for them. Here is a more in depth look of a drip campaign of this type:

Email one: Welcome email

Email two: Trigger email 2 the next day – How are things going? (this is where the design/content strategy comes into play) – This email should highlight one of the features of the product/service. Use copy to link them to the content on the site. Actually get the user to “use” the software. Anyone can sign up for the free trial but if they don’t use it or don’t know how to use it then they won’t use it. Don’t expect the user to contact you for a question. Give them the answer to the question before they even think of the question.

Email three: Trigger email 3 three days later – highlight another key feature and do the same thing as above.

Email four: Trigger email 4 two days after email three – highlight another feature and do the same thing (at this point the user should be in your main email marketing funnel and receiving updates regularly. Just like all other users).

Email five: If the user still hasn’t used the software since they created the account, 7 days later they should be tagged into another funnel that starts with an email that says “We miss you, you haven’t logged into (company name)….visit this link so that you can access your account and get started. This obviously would start a different follow up sequence that leads to a few more emails and asks for the sale.

Email six: (Reverting back to email number 4 on this list meaning that the user has been playing around with your software) – Trigger email 5 – at this point an active user should be using your software daily or a few times a week. They should be receiving your standard emails as well. At this point you should ask for the sale. If the user makes a purchase they will be removed from this list. If the user didn’t make a purchase they will continue to receive these emails.

Email seven: Trigger email 6 – now you’ve asked for the sale but they didn’t sign up. Ask again, this time with different copy and possibly an incentive such as 50% off you’re first month.

Once they sign up then trigger the billing sequence. If they don’t sign up you can continue to send them standard emails and possibly sell them in the future.

Note: Some campaigns will trigger automatically. For example, Infusionsoft allows you to upload follow up sequences that will automatically tag and trigger off emails the correct emails and the correct times.

4 – Don’t forget to introduce yourself in the first email

Have you ever opened up your email inbox and read mail from someone you didn’t know? What was the first thing you did? Yep, trash it right?

This usually happens not because you don’t know the person, but rather because they failed to introduce themselves to you. Most people are so quick to get right on with it that they forget this very important aspect. As mentioned earlier, the key to email marketing success is to strengthen relationships and build trust and this can only be achieved when your prospects know who is talking with them.

Note: You also want to address people by their first name. Most, if not all, email marketing tools allow you to do so but Aweber, for example, allows you to fix any wrong capitalizations with this simple code: {!firstname_fix}.  You can read more about this here.

5 – Avoid spammy titles

You want people to click through to read your email – not send it to the trash can. So avoid using spammy titles and hot button words. Read this post for a good compiled list of do’s and don’ts.

As much as the purpose for sending out emails is to engage with your list, it is equally important to include call to actions that compel your readers to take some form of action. The do’s and don’ts are pretty basic; however, the importance of call to actions is that they are metrics which you can use to measure the success of your efforts.

6 – Hire a copywriter (highly recommended)

What if I don’t have the money? In that case, here are some great resources that can help you:

The 9 Must Have Components of Compelling Email Copy

Copyblogger’s Guide to Effective Email Marketing

How I built My First Business Through Email Marketing

These resources will offer you great nuggets of gold to help through the entire process of craft email content to sending it.

7 – Have a good service provider

Aweber and Getresponse are two of the best known email service providers on the internet. This is not to say they are the only ones or that they are the best – there are definitely others. Recently startups like Drip, ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit have pushed the boundaries of the industry. Depending on your taste and preference, you are bound to get something to meet your needs.

What’s more important is that you do your research to find out what features each email software has and how it will help you with your campaign.

8 – Close the loop

Finally, test your campaign to see how effective they are. Tweak where necessary and rinse and repeat the process for all other lists you intend to create.

Once you have a huge list you can start testing different aspects of your emails. For example, so that you don’t spoil an entire list with some certain email subject, divide the list up and measure the open rate of different subject headlines. That is just one simple way that you can test your email list.

There are many other ways like segmenting men from women, east coast from west coast etc. I don’t want to confuse anyone but there are a lot of different ways to test/segment your email list. Sujan Patel wrote an awesome article about email list segmentation here.

Benefits of email marketing

There are many benefits of email marketing, however, the three major benefits that will add to your bottom line are:

  • Customer loyalty
  • Customer retention
  • Increase sales/engagement

Your emails should be a chance for you to talk and find out information from your customers that you can use to add value to them. In essence, people should look forward to your emails to a point that they actually contact you when they fail to get your emails (in theory of course).

so, if you are not using email marketing to grow your business, I would advise you to start right now. Remember your email list is like that secret ingredient in grandma’s shrimp gumbo that just gives the dish that extra kick!

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